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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 21, 2017 01:32 PM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Music Therapy Licensure
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would license Professional Music Therapists and place them under the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

In order to become a board certified music therapist, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, complete a 6-month internship, and pass the board certification exam by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Additionally, 100 continuing education credits must be obtained every five years to maintain board certification and music therapists are required to abide by the Code of Ethics established by the American Music Therapy Association.

Music therapy is an evidence-based healthcare profession that uses music as the stimulus to achieve specific therapeutic objectives. Music therapists serve clients with a variety of clinical needs, including persons with Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorders, cerebrovascular accidents (strokes), dementia, depression, developmental and intellectual differences, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, terminal illness, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, and more.

After a treatment plan is developed, a music therapist implements music therapy interventions that may include: active music-making through instrument playing or singing, moving to live or recorded music, therapeutic singing, structured music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music performance, and learning life skills through original and individualized songs. The clinical application of music has the potential to stimulate and improve a person’s physical, cognitive, social, personal, communication, and emotional development.

It is estimated that music therapists serve approximately 41,000 Pennsylvania residents each year. There are currently 9 PA universities offering bachelor’s through doctoral degrees in music therapy. In fact, PA houses the largest amount of higher education programs for music therapy in the country.

Please join me in supporting this legislation to ensure our constituents are getting quality care and to increase access to quality music therapy services.

Introduced as SB1094